I reckon it would take you 40 hours to read the first book out loud. Cutting that to three hours -- well, what can you do? The answer is, abridge, ... If you know the story, you can see them skipping.

If we're looking back in 1,000 years time, his work will be instantly recognizable as 20th century, ... entirely characteristic of that period, and articulating the concerns of the century.

Tolkien reintroduced the world of fairy tale to a new audience. It was a very traditional image of fairy tale -- elves, dwarves, trolls, dragons, wizards. Those have all come out of fairy tales. But Tolkien put the whole thing on the map, ... A lot of that stuff is traditional material that he has codified and rationalized in a kind of 20th-century way.

Tolkien went through it himself (as an infantryman) in World War I. But it just got worse in his lifetime, ... I think he was very preoccupied with the nature of evil, the nature of technology, the way in which things could be abused, the way good intentions are subverted. That's what it's all about.

There's another generation sewn up.